science and democracy


US Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Susan Wynn releases quino into San Diego County

Federal Agencies Have Lost Hundreds of Scientists Since 2017. What Comes Next?

First, the bad news: An analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists reveals that federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) have lost hundreds of scientists since 2017. The good news: With the Biden administration already acting on its pledge to lead with science, a new day has dawned, and it’s time to get to work. Read more >

Joanna Gilkeson/USFWS
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A UCS Guide to Involving the Public in Rulemaking

Today, the Union of Concerned Scientists is releasing its second batch of fact sheets to guide federal agencies toward science-based decisionmaking. One of these fact sheets, “Public Participation in Rulemaking at Federal Agencies,” focuses on how agencies can involve individuals and communities across the US in the regulatory process in 2021 and beyond. Read more >

MarylandGovPics
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David Everett Strickler/Unsplash

What Should the Next President do to Restore Science to Decisionmaking?

, Research scientist

Today, we’re releasing a new report, Presidential Recommendations for 2020: A Blueprint for Defending Science and Protecting the Public. In this report, we outline a suite of recommendations that the next president can take to protect the health and safety of the public through restoring science to government decisionmaking processes. The report focuses on strengthening three major principles underlying science-based decisionmaking: independence, transparency, and free speech.

Read more >

David Everett Strickler/Unsplash
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Cartoon: Justin Bilicki

Four New (Old) Ways the White House is Trying to Restrict Science for Policymaking

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

Yesterday, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the White House issued new “guidance” for the Administration to “Improve Implementation of the Information Quality Act”. Unfortunately, it reads like a re-hashing of some of the worst ideas for restricting the use of science in policymaking from the last five years or so. Way back in 2015, when some members of Congress were trying some of these same tricks to tip the scales in favor of regulated industry we summarized them in a Policy Forum article in Science. Here we go again—but this time, the Trump administration is trying to push these changes through unilaterally, the latest round in a long list of efforts to push science to the sidelines. Read more >

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Cartoon: Justin Bilicki

5 Tips for Working in the Trump Administration Like an Absolute Pro

, Senior Energy analyst

Are you a new political appointee looking to join your administration peers in governing by deregulatory splash? Does the idea of winning the title of Best Worst Rule-Maker of Them All make you want to jump to the front to assume the mantle of dismantle? Would you be interested in throwing logic, scholarship, and ethics out the window in favor of the unbridled thrill of flying by the seat of no pants?

If yes, then read on, because the below five tips have been systematically shown to plummet Trump appointees from hero to zero in under one rulemaking flat.

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Justin Bilicki
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